A Tough Season Ahead for Tampa Bay

Rachael RichardsonContributor IMay 30, 2009

TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 21: Running back Warrick Dunn #28 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rushes upfield against the San Diego Chargers at Raymond James Stadium on December 21, 2008 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

In 1976, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were shut out an astonishing five games. They went on to a humiliating 0-14 campaign.

This was the AFC West and it was 1976.

You can at least bet that this won't be the turnout for the 2009 season.

Holes in the offensive line up and unknown defensive strategies could present some problems.  With the release of Joey Galloway, one of the best receivers, the Bucs are hurting at wide receiver and running back positions. 

Missing a go-to-guy in the clutch is a definite issue.  The Bucs will look to Michael Clayton or maybe newcomer Sammie Stroughter to step up.

The question of quarterback is still a glaring weakness.  No one wants to go into a season without strength in that position.

The Bucs have a tough week one, facing the Dallas Cowboys at home.  Unfortunately, the Cowboys will probably get the win. 

I see the same scenario playing out for week two, three, four and yes, week five.

All hope is not yet lost my friends.  I see a big win in week six in a big NFC South rivalry with the Carolina Panthers.

I don't see another win until week nine, home against the Green Bay Packers

Back to back wins in week 11, home against the New Orleans Saints and on the road in week 12 against the Atlanta Falcons puts the Bucs at 4-7.

Not great considering their 9-3 start last season, but keep in mind this is a rebuilding year.

Two more home game wins in week 14 against the New York Jets and week 17 against the Atlanta Falcons leaves the Bucs at a disappointing 6-10.

To exceed in the NFC South to make the playoffs, it will take a prayer.  Who knows, with patience and hard work it could turn out to be more than a rebuilding season.  We could just get a winning season.

Still, my bet is a 6-10 campaign; and I'm being generous with a Hail Mary road game win.